Devotion: John 15:13
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” I love this saying! In the course of my life; God has blessed me with a plethora of wonderful friends. I have friends who are people of faith; as well as friends who are on their journey to know Christ. I love both people groups with all of my heart.
There are friends who are young and friends who are, let’s say more mature. There are those who are hysterically funny; friends who are very serious minded and all those in between. I have friends of all ethnic backgrounds and varied upbringing. We challenge each other and equip each other to handle life’s circumstances.
Old and new, tried and true; those are your forever friends!
God is so faithful to bring the friends we need just at the right time. He knows what and who we have need of. He is the friend of sinners and the One Who first loved us. He will daily draw us to Himself through prayer and His Word. He will use people to speak truth in love when we need to hear it.
Jesus had twelve people He held dear. He loved everybody because “God is love.” His disciples were with Him on a daily basis. They were with Jesus when He preached, as He healed the sick, even when He raised the dead. They saw Him speak the truth in love and admonish those who needed to be admonished.
God never meant for us to do life alone. He means for us to interact with the people He has placed in our sphere of influence. Ask God to give you the friends He has ordained for you but also ask Him to help you be a good friend.
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, thank You for the old and new friends. I pray that You will meet them at their point of need on this day. I ask You to help me to be the best friend I can be to those You have lovingly placed in my life. In Jesus Name. Amen
Devotion: Matthew 14:13-21
Loitering has a negative connotation. We’ve all seen signs that read; “No Loitering.” It means; no hanging around with questionable motives.
Jesus had just heard about the beheading of His good friend; John the Baptist. Because Jesus was fully God and fully man; He wanted to be by Himself, in order to grieve the loss of the one who declared, “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:3) John the Baptist was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He understood the significance of the One that was to come.
Jesus disciples encouraged Him to send the crowd away. Whatever the motive of these people; I believe they would have rather hung around Jesus; than eat. He would give them “meat they knew not of.”
To be fed physically is important; however, to be fed spiritually is forever lasting.
Many people call themselves “foodies.” That just means they love to prepare beautiful, delicious food or to eat it. After all, food gives life to the body. We obviously were fearfully and wonderfully made to eat food. However; many of us tend to loiter over food more than we loiter over God’s Word.
If we would loiter over God’s Word half as much as we loiter over physical food; we would have changed hearts and at the least, our motives would be pure. God would certainly say yes to hanging out with Him.
Physical food provides sustenance for the body and spiritual food sustains our soul. One lasts forever and the other is eventually eliminated. Which one will you loiter over the most?
Prayer in Motion:
Oh God, forgive me for loitering more over food than Your Word. I need to loiter over the meat of Your Word more than I need to loiter over my physical food. Thank You that Your Word is everlasting. In Jesus Name. Amen
Devotion: Exodus 24:1-8
Over and over the Israelites agreed to obey the Lord. Then almost as quickly as they made the promise; they would totally forget what they promised. God promised blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience. Just as in our day; we tend to forget there are consequences to our sin.
The truth of Deuteronomy 30:1-5 is just as true today as it was in Old Testament times. God told them to “return to the Lord and obey His voice with all their heart and all their soul and the Lord promised to bring them back from captivity.”
So many of us fall into the trap of doing what we see everyone else doing because there seem to be no outward consequences. There are always consequences to wrong doing. It may appear that people get away with what is acceptable to society. Those things are unacceptable to the Lord God.
People may make fun of you for being old fashioned but it’s just a matter of having strong principles and following the Lord’s commands. You will be rewarded in the end.
Seared consciences abound when people go their own way and refuse to obey what they know to be right and true. We are no better than the Israelites. God still demands the same things of us. Jesus said He came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it.
When you are tempted to go your own way. Remember the verse that says, “All we like sheep have gone astray. He has turned everyone into his own way and the Lord has laid upon Him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all.” All our sins; past, present and future were laid upon Jesus.
We need to seek to obey Him on a daily basis.
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, my desire is to obey You. I do not want to go my own way. I do not wish to make empty promises to You now or ever. Please forgive me for every time I have chosen to go my own way. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen
Devotion: John 11:21
“If You had been here,” Martha said; “my brother would not have died.” I heard Pastor Andy Williamson quote this comment made by Martha to Jesus Christ her Lord.
He was talking about the word “if”. We can’t live in the land of “ifs” because if we do; we will always be looking back instead of forward. We can “if” ourselves to the point of distraction. Jesus always comes just at the right time. He has all of your “ifs”. He wants you to bring them to Him.
If we choose to live in the land of “ifs”; we will be forever second guessing God and His promises. His promises are yes and amen. If we believe Christ has us and is in control of our lives, then we can confidently know He has our “ifs.”
At some point today; I would like for you to write down all your “ifs.” Then, I want you to search for a Bible promise that totally refutes each one. When the ifs come back in your mind; tear them down like wall paper and put up the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word will never return void. He is the Word and He wants to build you up in your most Holy faith.
Any time the “ifs” come back; get this piece of paper out and remind the author of the “ifs,” this is what the Lord Jesus Christ says. Not for one minute does Christ doubt what He has said and neither should you.
Prayer in Motion:
Dear Jesus, I bring all my “ifs” to You right now. You are not the author of the “ifs” in my life. You long to bring peace and confidence to every “if” the enemy tries to throw my way. I choose to believe You Lord. I choose to cling to the truth of Your Word both now and always. In Jesus Name. Amen
Devotion: Mark 4:23
I can tell by how my husband says my name; whether he’s sad, mad or glad. I am familiar with his voice. Everyone loves to hear the sound of their own name being said by someone else. It means you are needed in one way or another. Have you ever heard Jesus call your name or speak to your heart?
My grandkids say my name loudly when they need me. There are times when they are in a crisis mode that they actually scream my name. That will get anybody’s attention. I always hope there’s no blood involved.
God doesn’t ordinarily shout to get our attention. He will use His Word, His people and your circumstances to speak to your heart. Are you listening? He honestly loves you and wants you to hear what He has to say to you before a crisis occurs in your life. He longs for you to be familiar with His voice. He declares His sheep know His voice.
God declares in 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people which are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face; then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.”
Do we regularly seek the face of God or only when we are in a crisis mode? We will know His voice more readily when we are speaking to and listening for Him on a daily basis. He should never have to shout to get our attention.
I gotta go. My husband’s calling my name. (Honestly)
Prayer in Motion:
Lord Jesus, I want to hear Your voice. Give me ears to hear You anytime You are speaking to me. I want to readily obey all You say do. Thank You for all the times You have spoken to me and forgive me for all the times I haven’t had ears to hear.
Devotion: Psalm 18:34
No, I am not talking about Superman. Early one morning, on Highway 29, heading for Interstate 85; my eyes beheld the outline of a man standing on a pile of steel. The sun behind his muscle bound frame, revealed his hard work. This was no pencil pushing guy. He used his muscles to accomplish what God had given his hands to do.
Found in the book of Psalms; this passage talks about a man bending a bow of bronze. One such man was found in Samson. He performed amazing feats of strength. Strength given by the Creator of the universe; Samson was blessed with amazing super powers.
Judges 16 gives an example of Samson’s strength. …vs. 3 tells us. “…at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.”
In the past; Samson had struck down a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. I’m willing to bet there’s no man alive today that could take on Samson. Physically, he was a true man of steel.
The angel of the Lord had appeared to Samson’s mother who had previously been barren. Manoah prayed to God and asked that the same angel would come back to tell them the mission of Samson’s life. The angel of the Lord did not directly answer his question. He only repeated the same instructions he had spoken to Manoah’s wife. (Read Judges 16 for the whole wonderful account)
Manoah and his wife prepared a sacrifice to offer to the LORD and when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD went up in the flame of the altar. Their sacrifice was accepted by their Lord.
Samson was used mightily by the Lord, but not without much suffering and eventually death. God created this man of steel with and on purpose. His life is a powerful testament as to what God can do with a man who will use his God given strength.
Prayer in Motion:
God, please raise up men of steel for these latter days. Build them up in their most holy faith. May they be determined to finish well the task for which You created them. Protect them with Your righteous right hand. Use them for Your glory. In Jesus Name. Amen
Devotion: Genesis 26:28
Why God? Why did you take her so soon? Why did that baby have to die? Why did your choicest of servants have to get cancer? Why, why, why? We all have unanswered questions, those things we cannot understand. It’s part of the “working out of our own salvation.” It’s trusting God’s hand when you don’t understand His purpose and plan. It’s a part of our faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We are all in process. Each human being is created by God for His glory. We are either in Christ or without Him. Some are saved as by fire. They invited Him to be their Savior; however, they have no daily relationship, no prayer time, no seeking Him through His Holy Scriptures. He says in His Word, “My sheep know my voice.” How can we truly know someone with whom we have no daily relationship.
God makes no mistakes.
We draw nigh to Him and He draws nigh to us. If we seek Him, He will let us find Him when we search for Him with all our heart. If He created us for His glory; (and He did) He desires for you to come to Him with every question, every doubt, every heart ache, every disappointment. He will answer with His still small voice in His timing and in His way.
A fatal illness or the death of someone we love is devastating to us. We cannot bear the thought of separation from those we love. It’s more than our minds can comprehend. Remember, God makes no mistakes. He loves us with an everlasting love and underneath us are His everlasting arms. He cannot and will not ever leave us nor forsake us.
Prayer in Motion:
Lord, may I always realize You make no mistakes. You never turn Your back on me. I am constantly on Your mind and in Your heart. May I be intentionally aware of Your constant presence. Thank You Jesus for the truth of Your Word. May I never take Your Word or You for granted. You paid a great price for my salvation and earthly joy. In Jesus Name. Amen